Sylvester Sessions #90

Sylvester Sessions #90

Ophelia wears the Pebbles top and Utility skirt.

Sylvester Sessions #90

Ophelia Mikkelson

Artist 
Tairua, New Zealand.
Ophelia wears Pebbles Top and Utility Skirt

You live in Tairua, a small town by the sea, what let you there, and what does it mean to be close to the ocean?

Love of the heart and love of the ocean! My husband, Ryder, has lived in Tairua since he was ten so after we finished our Masters a few years ago we started renting our little house on the beach. It is really important for us both to be near the ocean, to live simply, and to be able to work on our art practises and creative projects full time. 

Tell us about your wardrobe, what draws you to clothing, any particular textures, colours, fabrics?

Most of my clothes are green! It’s been my favourite colour for as long as I can remember and I love wearing it. Sometimes I leave the house and its not until I catch my reflection far from home that I realise I look like a green bean! All the clothes I own and buy are made form natural materials. I think it is really important to eliminate synthetic materials from our wardrobes, and even more so from our day-to-day lives. Its makes shopping super easy, say if I see something I’m not quite sure about and check the label, and its half polyester I can happily walk away from it. 

Growing food and sharing meals seems central in your home, what does it mean to you to gather around the table?

We have a little vegetable garden where we grow our greens and herbs, tomatoes and lots of flowers. I love cooking and preparing meals, making as much as possible from scratch. Recently, we have been making blue corn tortillas, which are very delicious! I love sitting down through out the day, over meals, and talking about what we are working on. Often at dinnertime we will list our three best things that happened that day. That is always a really nice thing to do! 

Tell us about your working at home, and collaborating with you partner Ryder on art projects and day to day.

We both have our studios at home so we have to punctuate our days with walks and swims to get out of the house. Most mornings, we’ll walk the beach before we go to our studios. I will work on photographs and paintings mainly and Ryder on writing and sculpture. We have a show together later in the year in Wellington so we are starting to work on that now. Recently, we both had pieces of writing due for WAIST (an annual book put out by anyonegirl) so we swapped studios and edited each other’s work, which was really fun!

What is the best thing about winter?

Pots of soup, cheese on toast, the sunrise, socks, stormy beach walks, hot showers, early nights. 

What are you reading / watching / listening to that's feeding your right now?

Reading: Zadie Smith’s Swing Time

Watching: This Is Us

Listening: Ryder makes us really great playlists all the time, the most recent one is called ‘Happy Morning’ who ever wakes up first puts it on! Also the new Rhye album Blood. 

What ideas and plans are evolving for 2018?

I turn 27 this week and I am really excited to watch the year unfolding ahead. I am working on a lot of photography, writing, and painting projects, a few of which are taking me on a some overseas trips and bringing me to work alongside other wonderful creative people. I love when there are exciting things on the horizon. I love a fun to do list! The sun shone today and I floated in the ocean so I am grateful for that.

Interview & photography by Greta van der Star.   
Check out Ophelia here.

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